10 Days of Sober Repentance, Music, etc.

2. Religious Observances

On Wednesday I leave for 10 days of Vipassana Meditation outside of the already very rural Onalaska, Washington. You can read about the place I’m going and what the program is like via their informative and stimulating website. In brief: 12+ hours of daily meditation, no talking, no Interneting, no writing, no reading, no drinking, no smoking, no lying, no cheating, no acoustic guitar, no meat, and no dinner. They feed you delicious vegetarian meals and give you a mat. Also, it’s free. Why would I do this? If you don’t understand it I can’t explain it.

I’ve done it once before a couple of years ago in Brighton, Michigan. It was difficult but not impossible, and I was revived an empress. On the one hand, in grand Buddhist tradition I am interested in detaching from the results. On the other hand, my hopes include, but are not limited to:

1. Safe travel to the center and back. (What’s 10 hours on the road in a rickety 95 Saturn to an artist?)
2. I want to remember what it’s like to sit still and shut up for a second. Many, many seconds.
3. How to be alone.
4. Perhaps this sounds trite, but I want to come back a better person. Look, I know I’m not a monster now, but we could all be better, couldn’t we? Do I have to be so sarcastic and acerbic all the time? Do I have to hold on to petty resentments and act like a child when I don’t get everything I want? Just saying, I can do better. You deserve love, world, and I am here to love you.
5. A little fucking discipline, if you please.

This next list is a little absurd. Why not mix in a little new age mysticism with my old school meditation practice, before it’s too late. Set it and forget it like a rotisserie chicken, here’s some shit I’d like to manifest while I’m gone. Just leave it on my doorstep for when I return.

1. A new bike. Something slick and street compatible that makes me look cool.
2. A couch for our new apartment. And while you’re at it, make that weird broken futon disappear.
3. Chastity and continence. Sort of. (Inspired by @St Augustine)
4. Lord, God, Krishna, could you make me neater? Make me care about the dishes and laundry, because God, you neglected to give me this gene and I’m starting to catch on to how alienating filth can be.
5. Is it too much to ask to be the greatest writer that ever lived? Could you give me the words to say all the brilliant shit I’m thinking? I mean, I don’t want to get into a fiddle contest or anything over it, but we could all use a little more grace in storytelling, and by us I mean me.

Again, I mean all of this in a totally free from desire kind of way. Let me give something back.

3a. Music

These are some songs I’ve been particularly enjoying this summer. I spend a lot of time on an Internet music site called blip.fm where I play music and hang out with my other djs, or “friends,” although let me assure you, I love them like real people. Which they are. You know, sort of. So here’s a list, and if you want, you can follow this list to my playlist where I have helpfully placed these songs for your enjoyment. (Again, sort of. The task proved long and boring so they’re not really in order but most of the songs are there probably. Create a dj name and blip yourself, it’s fun! I’m not crazy!)

  • Lou Reed – This Magic Moment
  • Dépêche Mode – Clean
  • Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness
  • Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
  • Kenny Rogers – Just Dropped In
  • Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page
  • The Kinks – There’s a New World Just Opening for Me
  • Dolly Parton – Jolene
  • The Strokes – Heart in Cage
  • Lil’ Wayne – A Milli
  • Warren Zevon – Back in the High Life Again
  • George Harrison – I got My Mind Set on You
  • Florence & The Machine – Addicted to Love
  • The Black Keys – Next Girl
  • Townes Van Zandt – Lungs
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead – Say Hey (I Love You)
  • Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Come
  • Murder by Death – Until Morale Improves, The Beatings will Continue
  • John Lee Hooker – I Need Some Money
  • Gene Pitney – Town without Pity
  • Delta Spirit – People C’mon
  • The Mars Volta – Miranda, This Ghost Just Isn’t Holy Anymore
  • I love you all. Who knows what kind of weird mystic will be running this place when next we meet.

    2 thoughts on “10 Days of Sober Repentance, Music, etc.

    1. Oh, you’re right. Too bad I’m going to edit the post now so that your correction won’t make sense!

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